RUW held a very successful Conference on Women and Society in April 2016 where more than 45 research papers were presented by participants from over 15 countries. Student poster presentations were a highlight of the event and served to stimulate a research culture among the region’s youth. I am very proud of the fact that 13 RUW faculty members and 11 students presented their research in the Conference.
In 2018, RUW will partner with Gulf Education and GCL to host a conference with the theme of ‘Empowering Women through higher Education’, which aims to highlight the opportunities for, and challenges women face in higher education. The goal is to discover and share additional methods universities might deploy in order to generate outstanding overall improvement for women in higher education.
The conference is designed for academics from local, regional and international universities and educational institutions, research institutes and foundations, representatives from the Ministries of Education, government organisations, NGOs, researchers, consultants, professionals and graduate students.
The UN Women organisation defines the principles of women empowerment as, “Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.” Universities are in a privileged position of ability to revolutionise women’s development by supporting women to be free thinkers, explore channels of self-discovery, and determine the ways in which they want to participate in the world. Often, higher education is a woman’s outlet to the knowledge based world. Women develop in university through various forms, curriculum, student organisations, programmes, clubs, and sports- A wide array of involvement creates well-rounded individuals. Access to a university of quality significantly advances not only women’s empowerment, but also progresses world development in general by opening doors and changing systems. Consequently, providing university education contributes to eradicating poverty, raising levels of social and/or economic class, and improving global health. It must therefore be the mission of universities to continually attract more female students and build opportunities for enrolment, as well as to constantly improve and expand programmes of study and extracurricular for women. Furthermore, universities must allocate their resources towards understanding and encouraging efforts which will empower women.
Women have been striving to become equal on all platforms for centuries. In the work place, women are challenged to obtain salaries equal to me for the same job and to attain the promotions which will place them in leadership roles. Progress has been made, yet more can be accomplished. Perhaps the most effective way to build upon the foundations that have already been laid for gaining gender equality is by providing women of all ages with continuous education and employment opportunities. The world must continue to collectively pursue gender equality, since it cannot yet be stated that women have equality in all measures and in all areas of society. UNESCO declares, “Education is the pathway towards gender equality, and given the extensive and growing participation of women in income generating activities, education for girls and women is particularly important, especially in attempting to reverse gendered patterns of discrimination. Not only is it impossible to achieve gender equality without education but expanding education opportunities for all can help stimulate productivity and thereby also reduce the economic vulnerability of poor households.” The education of girls and women can lead to a wide range of benefits from improved maternal health, reduced infant mortality and fertility rates to increased prevention against diseases. Educators and educational institutions are in the most influential position to produce the largest impacts of improvement; thus, all societies must ensure girls and women are granted proper educational involvement.
The call for papers is addressed to scholars, researchers, professionals and practitioners interested or involved in issues related to women and gender studies. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
Women are increasingly occupying prominent roles as leaders in various sectors, but still inequality remains between the number of males filling leadership positions relative to females. Leadership is not something which should be defined by gender. Instead, young girls and women must believe (and know) they have the same abilities to pursue leadership positions as males. Education is a catalyst for inspiring women to advance to top positions. Women can be provided with the opportunity to discover their strengths, passions, and niches through educational and extracurricular activities/programmes. The discovery of abilities and success within a chosen field of interest can stimulate a leadership drive. Furthermore, encouragement from existing leaders and those in authority can enhance capability to rise to the top. Role models are also an important element of inspiration. As females see more women leaders whom they can look up to then women’s empowerment transcends. Organisations, such as those providing child care serving women’s needs to balance home life and career enable more women to take up leadership positions. Through various platforms: educational institutions, community engagement, extracurricular programmes and other organisations, girls and women can become inspired and motivated, as well as develop the necessary tools to seek leadership positions.
The call for papers is addressed to the scholars, researchers, professionals and practitioners interested and/or experienced in matters related to women’s leadership to share their findings in the following sub-themes which include, but are not limited to:
Legal Education is an essential tool for advancing women’s empowerment and strengthening their role in the society. Gender-based stereotypes which have frequently prevented women from accessing legal education and professions in the past have been drastically reduced over the last decades. In modern society women are an essential part of the legal environment, though in many areas the legal empowerment of women has yet to be fully developed and women still face different obstacles.
The call for papers is addressed to the scholars, researchers, professionals and practitioners interested in issues related to women in law and legal education to share their findings in the following sub-themes which include, but are not limited to:
The STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, are the leading, most vital fields in the innovative modern world. Women remain underrepresented in these areas; although, there has been a recent push towards ensuring women have more equal access to pursue studies and careers in this arena. Many companies employ people within the STEM fields in order to function at the highest levels, thereby creating a significant job market. Furthermore, those in STEM programmes tend to generate higher salaries and greater job security. Hence, more prevalently women are choosing these fields due to factors which increase their independence and their abilities to contribute to society. The STEM curriculum is becoming a priority focus in K-12 school, allowing young girls to gain the same competencies as males and enabling them to compete on an equal basis for jobs in high demand. Thus, encouraging and enabling women to access STEM programmes will not only close in on the gender gap, and reduce job based gender stereotypes, it will empower women further by providing more opportunity to lead and contribute to the revitalising futures of their societies and economies.
The call for papers is addressed to the scholars, researchers, professionals and practitioners interested in issues related to women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to share their findings in the following sub-themes which include, but are not limited to:
According to the 2014 UNESCO World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education, the number of women enrolled in higher education institutions has grown almost twice as fast as that of men over the last four decades. The International Labour Organisation, ILOSTAT 2017 database shows however that women have a lower labour force participation (61% versus 76% according to the World Bank). Graduate attributes are a key to understanding this disparity. What makes women graduates less or more successful than male graduates in job placement or is youth unemployment an issue across the world and actually has nothing to do with gender gap?
Female entrepreneurship has been often mentioned as a productive outlet for a well-educated and underutilised talent pool. In the Arab world for example, female entrepreneurship has been increasing and becoming more visible over the last decade. According to Ernst and Young Global Job Creation Survey 2016, Women-owned businesses are growing faster than men-owned businesses (10.9% compared to 8.3% among male entrepreneurs). Younger female entrepreneurs predict even higher workforce growth (16%) in the year ahead. Women entrepreneurship contributes to economic growth and wealth creation and creates employment opportunities for other women (and men). Yet women entrepreneurs around the world face obstacles to set up their business and often still lack the skills, technology, networks and access to financial services that they need to thrive.
A recent trend across the world has been the increasing involvement of higher education institutions in enhancing women’s economic empowerment and help understand the constraints that women face in the business world.
This call for papers offers an opportunity for scholars, practitioners, students to explore those issues related to employability and entrepreneurship and to share their research in this topic as well as the following themes:
Today, more than ever, the power of women is emerging forcefully through the pursuit of education and the robust interest in technology. Moreover, to meet the demands of global citizenship, women of Generation Z are advancing their credentials through leadership roles, entrepreneurship, the acquisition of second languages and first-hand experiences in their fields of interest. Societal growth and advancement are inextricably linked to innovation and adaptability to an ever-changing environment that is influenced by Psycho-Social factors present through all times. Therefore, for optimal development and sustainability, informative academic research is needed to support a balanced society.
The call for papers is addressed to the scholars, researchers, professionals, and practitioners interested in issues related to women studies, education enhancement, and innovation, to share their findings in the following sub-themes which include, but are not limited to:
As Scottish sociologist Robert Morisson Malver (1882-1970) quoted, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation”. In this light women empowerment through education has become a global quest and challenge. Inspiring women to become pacesetters in education, will result in them taking to the forefront of leadership in all fields. Art and design education has a transformative role in achieving more just, sustainable and equal communities at large. For many years’ women have played a major role in various fields of art and design by implementing their strong artistic expressions, critiques, and techniques. Women enrolled in Art and Design education are able to express themselves as individuals while simultaneously creating works which their communities and societies may benefit from.
The call for papers is addressed to the scholars, researchers, professionals and practitioners interested in issues related to women in art and design education to share their findings in the following sub-themes which include, but are not limited to: